James Quincey becomes the new CEO at the Coca-Cola Company May 1. As he replaces Muhtar Kent, he faces a myriad of challenges.
But according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, industry watchers say Quincey is up for the challenge. They say he understands the need to invest in a broad portfolio of products beyond sparkling beverages. The company is now focusing on low- and no-calorie products. That product mix is expected to focus on coffee, teas, juice and water drinks.
There had been talk that Coca-Cola could be acquired by Belgium’s Anheuser Busch InBev NV. But because Coke no longer owns the bulk of its bottlers, analysts say it may not be as attractive to companies that are used to having a distribution network included.
Last week, the company announced plans to cut approximately 1,200 jobs as it puts in place a “leaner corporate organization.” Most of them will be at the corporate headquarters in Atlanta.
“These changes are critical for us to create an environment where we can accelerate growth and become the consumer-centric, total beverage company we need to be in a fast-changing world,” Quincey said in a statement.
It expects to achieve an additional $800 million a year in productivity savings over the next few years. The layoff announcement came as Coca-Cola reported that its net revenues for the first quarter declined 11 percent. The company’s annual revenues, which peaked at $48 billion in 2012, fell to under $42 billion last year.
Maria Saporta covers nonprofits and philanthropy for Atlanta Business Chronicle.